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The world's most ridiculous legislative body cont'd

Sen. Richard Shelby has put a hold on all of President Obama's nominees. Yes, you read that right. All of them. And it's not because they're all unqualified, or unwilling to answer the Alabaman's questions. It's because he wants the Obama administration to speed two pork projects set to be built in Alabama: A plant to build air-to-air refueling tankers and an FBI lab.

This is really no way to run a government.

By Ezra Klein  |  February 5, 2010; 8:02 AM ET
 
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Comments

You know what? If Obama doesn't care enough to complain about it, why should I care more than him?

Posted by: pj_camp | February 5, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

I totally agree wotj pj_camp, and, of course, believe that the Administration should spotlight this abuse of the legislative process 24/7. Make Shelby the poster boy of bad politicians and Republican hypocricy. Highlight the fact that Republicans simply do not believe in government. Democrats and the President need to learn to use the bully pulpit effectively and honestly.

Posted by: johnsonr1 | February 5, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

What pj_camp said. This nihilist strategy has been evident for months now. Obama must calibrate accordingly; otherwise, he'll take the Democratic party down with him. I fear it's too late.

Posted by: scarlota | February 5, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

The most depressing part of this is that an electoral opponent will have trouble campaigning against this - he's holding Obama's feet to the fire to bring home the bacon. Gotta love representative government!

Posted by: justin84 | February 5, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

That said, I agree with other commentators - Obama should be calling this guy out on this at every opportunity. For that matter, principled fiscal conservatives (the name Paul Ryan comes to mind here) should be doing the same.

Posted by: justin84 | February 5, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

anybody think we can get the south to seceed again?

Posted by: elijah24 | February 5, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Why don't the Dems call a vote on one of the clearly qualified nominees, ASAP? Then put the spotlight on the newly minted Senator from MA, and ask him why he plans to vote in lockstep with the GOP.

Posted by: ComradeJake | February 5, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

I agree Jake. Brown won his race by promising not to be a typical polititian. Make him prove it.

Posted by: elijah24 | February 5, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Somehow when the Ds wanted to block a few of Bush's most extreme appointees to lifetime judgeships the Rs proclaimed a constitutional crisis, but a block by an R of ALL Obama's appointees isn't one?!

Posted by: WarrenTerra | February 5, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Sadly, I agree with the first comment. At every sickening move the Republicans have made (each one more outrageous than the one before it), the Democrats and even this administration have been largely silent. And yet they sit up there and wonder why those who voted for Obama (like me) are now discouraged and despondent. To paraphrase what the first commenter said: if they Democrats don't care enough to complain about it, why should I?

Posted by: headphonejack | February 5, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

All elected Democrats who are not on the take and who are feeling betreyed by Obama should immediately resign from the party and become independants. Obama and the Democratic leadership (imposters all) are destroying the progressive movement.

Also, all true progressives should march on Washington DC immediately and call for the resignation of Obama, Pelosi and Reid. Never has there been a more incompetent Democratic leadership team.

Posted by: Lomillialor | February 5, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

As a conservative and a Republican, I think Shelby has been an embaressment since he changed parties in 1994. He has always represented himself first, trial lawyers second, Alabama a distant third with almost no room for anything else. He is nothing more than a more conservative version of Arlen Spector and that is only because he represents a conservative state. If he were from a red or purple state, he would heve switched back to a Crat as soon as they regained control of the Senate.

Mitch McConnel needs to let Shelby know he is on his own on this one. No Republican should back Shelby. Let him get the other 40 votes to maintain his hold from his trial lawyer allies.

Posted by: WoodbridgeVa1 | February 5, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

And where the hell is the freaking mainstream media???

Posted by: impikk | February 5, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Mitch McConnel, regardless of his current or future public position on Shelby, absolutely loves the fact that Shelby is blocking Obama's nominees. If Shelby wasn't doing it, McConnel would find another way of doing it anyway. Every elected "Repug" is out for himself, just as is the "Crat" leadership.

Posted by: Lomillialor | February 5, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Why are congressman exempt from laws against bribery? Give me my 40 billion or else!

Posted by: Judy_L | February 5, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Stalling confirmations is a time-honored tactic by both parties. It's the legislative equivalent of taking hostages, and should - but won't - be outlawed. All nominees deserve an up or down vote within a reasonable time. If this takes power away from the Senate, good!

Posted by: Trucker49 | February 5, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Gotta love your first responders: The Senate Continues to Suck? Blame Obama First, Last and Always.

Posted by: burientopteam | February 5, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Could someone explain to me the "hold"? Is it a rule like the filibuster that cannot be changed absent a supermajority vote to do so? Or, is it a "courtesy"? If the latter, couldn't the Dems simply decide to force the issue by submitting the nominees to the floor?

If they could, and they don't, frankly, I'm not sure why they shouldn't be voted out.

Posted by: Craig643 | February 5, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Let's get this on the front page! Shelby always orders the XL bacon lovers.

Of course, we have to get Obama to recant his support for the Farm bill as well. Those subsidies to ADM, Monsanto and friends should be obliterated as well.

Posted by: staticvars | February 5, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

*Gotta love your first responders: The Senate Continues to Suck? Blame Obama First, Last and Always. *

You don't understand the intersection of policy and politics. If the president and his party can't use the power of political pressure and bad publicity as a cudgel against this sort of policy/rules abuse, then they have no business holding their jobs.

Ezra Klein and pj_camp can't "flood the zone" in the media with talking points highlighting Shelby's abuse. Reid and Obama can. If they don't, it's a sign of incompetence and weakness.

Posted by: constans | February 5, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Can Shelby be censured for abuse of Senatorial prerogative? Not that I expect these namby-pamby Senators to actually get tough on each other, but it would be a way for the ailing Harry Reid to score some political points.

Posted by: GawkSquawk | February 5, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

NOW HEAR THIS REPUBLICANS! This truly independent voter voted for Bush twice and then for Obama. Sure, BO 'n' the Dems are disappointing, but, as bad as they are, and they have plenty to answer for, they STILL beat you and yours!!

Posted by: Fred34 | February 5, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Listen carefully. The sound you hear is James Madison rolling in his grave.

Posted by: jakemeyer1 | February 5, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Umm, one the Administration is making a lot of noise about it; rightly so. Two, we should all be so blessed if the South would please secede again! Too much of my tax money is pumped out of New England down to the South. If rednecks down South pay their own taxes and pave their own roads, then they can do ban all the abortions they want and hate all the gays they want; as their own country, not mine!

Posted by: UrbanMechanic | February 5, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Lomillialor WROTE:

"All elected Democrats who are not on the take and who are feeling betreyed by Obama should immediately resign from the party and become Independants. Obama and the Democratic leadership (imposters all) are destroying the progressive movement.

Also, all true progressives should march on Washington DC immediately and call for the resignation of Obama, Pelosi and Reid. Never has there been a more incompetent Democratic leadership team."

*********************************************

BRAVO!!!

We Independents welcome you with open minds, thoughts and arms.

If you are on the side of "The People,"
You belong on the side of "The Independents."
It's NOT TOO LATE.............Yet.

Posted by: Intuition1010 | February 6, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

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